Happy Birthday Tamara Toumanova

by rosalyster

  1. I read a letter you wrote to Joseph Cornell. You thanked him for his “charming” present, and you enclosed some scraps of your costumes from ‘The Firebird’ and ‘Giselle’.
  2. This is in addition to the scraps he already had in his possession.
  3. I read that he used to stand in the wings and cut off bits of your costume when you fluttered offstage.
  4. I don’t know what the party line is on Joseph Cornell these days. Are we supposed to have problems with him?
  5. All cutting feathers off girls’ clothes and being fixated on ballerinas.
  6. All making tiny tiny little women and putting them into boxes.
  7. I can see how someone could collect these facts and present them under the heading Joseph Cornell: Creepy Man.
  8. Not me, though. I love him to distraction, and it is clear that you liked him a lot as well.
  9. Not quite as much as he liked you, but then no one likes anyone as much as Joseph Cornell liked you.
  10. It has been suggested that he was “obsessed” with you, and while there is one whole set of people who argue that this is creepy, there is another lot who see this as heartbreaking.
  11. They take the facts and they arrange them in a box, and the box is called Joseph Cornell Was a Shy and Tormented Soul Who Made Beautiful Things for Beautiful People Who Almost by Definition Would Never Appreciate Them. 
  12. I am not keen on this version either.
  13. I prefer the version where he has his life on one side of the country, and you have your life on the other, and you send each other weird things in the post
  14. I prefer the version where, at the end of the letter containing the ‘Firebird’ scraps, you say “I am always glad to hear from you, and please do drop me a line or two, as I am permanently here.”
  15. I couldn’t say why, exactly, I like this so much.
  16. That’s what he should have called the box he made for you: I Am Permanently Here.
  17. You should write him a letter and tell him that.